The left doesn’t believe itself!

*cross posted from my posting at my home away from home:* may it rest in peace.
In perusing many of the blogs on the left, I have detected a recurring, although not ubiquitous, theme. Specifically, a lack of faith in the system, and an overarching belief that elections have been stolen wholesale. In fact, they are arguing that, with the voting machines being electronic, and with various other things done, that people no longer have a voice, and that democracy is dead. They believe Corporate America has stolen the government.

Interestingly though, they must not really believe it, because the left is looking forward to the next elections. Apparently they don’t even believe their own rhetoric. For some reason, they hold two contradictory views. The first view is that elections are not fair, and the outcomes are “pre-determined.” The other view? That we can change things by getting out the vote, and voting for change.
Hmmm… are they simply stupid? While that would be a satisfying conclusion, I am not convinced of that. For a long time now I have held the view that accusations and charges are more reflective of the attitudes and behaviors of the people making them than the subject of the accusations. People see the world through their own lenses, and do not easily see alternative explanations. Or to put it another way “Bush must have lied–how else could you explain what is happening?!”

So here is MY theory (admittedly filtered through my lens–I understand I too am captive to my own paradigm). Keep the news story out there that Democracy is threatened. Let people know that our nation has been “stolen” as have elections. Convince people that they have to take action NOW to take back our government–and you can do that by getting out and voting for liberals. So, create fear, carefully drawing lines connecting unrelated information in a compelling story that implies connections, and get people to react to it.
Yup, that’s my theory, and I am sticking to it. Liberals are trying to “steal” elections the old fashioned way. Lying and scaring the electorate. Popularizing crazy conspiracy theories. Making people feel fear, rage, and hopelessness. And then, getting people to vote for them based on irrational fear.

I could be wrong. But it makes for a good story, and seems as plausible as any other.


6 thoughts on “The left doesn’t believe itself!

  1. How fantastic! You see, in perusing many comments and commentaries by authors on the right, I have detected a recurring theme as well, one which your post exemplifies. In point of fact, you note the basis of it yourself: “For a long time now I have held the view that accusations and charges are more reflective of the attitudes and behaviors of the people making them than the subject of the accusations.” My theory is that Conservatives take their unpalatable attitudes and behaviors and portray them, loudly and consistently, as characteristic of Liberals. Furthermore, this portrayal takes the form of a (dare I say) pre-emptive attack.

    It’s elegant, in its way; by taking their own weaknesses or machinations and vociferously attributing them to Liberals, Conservatives in one stroke put Liberals on the defensive and remove from their retaliatory arsenal a potent weapon: the truth. It does no good for a Liberal to say “No! Such is not the case! It is, in fact, my opponent who holds those views!” The Conservatives will not even have to counter this rebuttal; they will simply shake their heads, secure in knowing that just about everyone has long since learned “I know you are, but what am I” is a last, and pathetic, refuge. That the Liberal is correct is, sadly, lost in the fray.

    Let’s see this in action. We’ll present a conservative’s critiques of dastardly Liberals, followed by some Conservative actions/statements that show support for my theory.

    The Professor’s View of Liberals: “So, create fear, carefully drawing lines connecting unrelated information in a compelling story that implies connections, and get people to react to it.”
    Conservative Actions/Comments: frequently mentioning the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks in speeches promoting/justifying the War in Iraq.

    The Professor’s View of Liberals: “[Liberals are] lying and scaring the electorate.” Conservative Actions/Comments: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

    The Professor’s View of Liberals: “[Liberals are] popularizing crazy conspiracy theories.”
    Conservative Actions/Comments: The very existence of the phrases “the homosexual agenda” and “The War on Christmas.”

    The Professor’s View of Liberals: “[As] making people feel fear, rage, and hopelessness. And then, getting people to vote for them based on irrational fear.”
    Conservative Actions/Comments: Claiming the presence of WMDs in Iraq (fear), claiming Liberals hate America and/or support terrorists (rage), claiming Liberal ideologies pervade a “judicially activist” court system (hopelessness), and raising any of these points in a campaign speech.

    Note this is just my theory. But as a fellow professor once said, “I could be wrong. But it makes for a good story, and seems as plausible as any other.”

  2. c.j. — thanks for your comment! Actually, I realize that, by writing this commentary, I would open this argument up to this very critique.

    That is, perhaps, what makes my commentary so true, and why I was careful enough to note that I too am seeing the world through my own lens. Projection can be a very scary thing, and one that perhaps can only be overcome with care and self-reflection, and the willingness to confront what one finds.

    I was pleased to see that, while you used my comments as a springboard, you (hopefully) didn’t find my comments readily available as examples, as well. I would like to think that, while perhaps strident at times in word choice, I have avoided the use of such phrases as “war on Christmas” or “Homosexual Agenda.” I also wasn’t one to use a phrase “vast right-wing conspiracy” since I neither saw one there, nor suspected there to be one on the left. (although application of my theory had me wondering–is Hillary projecting?)

    I only have one caveat to my hearty thanks and support for your comment. Just because conservatives say and do stupid things, doesn’t mean there isn’t truth (or Truth) there. It just means they said some stupid things. And I realize the same is true from the left.


  3. I’d like to address your caveat first. It is very well-spoken, and though it may get my Liberal decoder ring and blazer badge revoked, I very much agree that the Left can be just as foolish as the Right, and the Right can have as much access to truth (or Truth) as the Left. I did well note your disclaimer, and in fact was having some fun with the post as I perceived some humorous intent in it.

    As far as not finding your comments readily avalable as examples of some sort of Conservative bias, well, I can only refer to my above statement: I felt I detected a bit of good-natured ribbing in your post. It’s hard to take too much offense if you know (or think) someone is joking and it doesn’t appear mean-spirited (in contrast to, say, Ann Coulter).

    You’re right about projection being a bit scary, especially as (in the traditional Freudian sense) we don’t realize we’re doing it. Couple this with some good old-fashioned confirmation bias and in-group bias, and you have the approach many people seem to take to politics: “you’re wrong because all our evidence says so and besides, we’re right because we’re right. So there.” I can’t see this as anything but unhelpful and unproductive, and one would hope elected leaders would be able to overcome this. Unfortunately, there seem to be enough genuine misdeeds from both Conservatives and Liberals that grist for the mill is never lacking, and after all, why go through the effort to take the beam out of our own eye when it’s so much easier to focus on the mote in our brother’s?

  4. CJ the Anonymous

    THanks for the post again. Yes, if one were to read my posts, I would like to think they would find more of a sense of humor than anything else.

    Honesty here–while I don’t like or agree with everything that is going on, or even most things (tax cuts though are something I want more often!) I don’t see have the “rage” that is documented elsewhere.

    In fact, that is what I think has ruined those who used to be my favorite liberal comedians. They have become rage filled, angry, and mean. Not funny. Just… bitter.

  5. “What is truth?” is the question that kept popping into my mind as I read this post.

    We all believe different things… different facts we believe to be the truth. Sometimes, those facts are proven correct, other times they are proven wrong. Yet, there are always cases where there is not right and wrong.

    While I agree with your thinking of the Left’s actions/plans, I also agree the Right’s thinking can be off the mark too.

    The strong emotions, such as anger and bitterness, often come hand-in-hand with politics, which is the main reason I usually ‘don’t go there.’ Same with religion. Most of the stuff can not be proven without a shadow of a doubt but both things rely heavily on point-of-view.

    People like to place blame for their problems( or things they consider as problems) on other people instead of doing something about it. I can’t stand the people who go on and on about something, yet do nothing to try to help fix it. Or if something does not go how they like, they automatically cry foul play. People need to go back to school for such lessons as being a ‘good loser’ and ‘teamwork’.

    Also, more people need to agree to disagree without the rage and childlike behaviors (name-calling, etc.) If you believe in something, there will ALWAYS be someone who disagrees, either because they believe differently or because they like a good fight.

    Well, *steps off soapbox* thats my opinion through my own ‘lenses.’

  6. I could not pass this one up. I am not a liberal or conservative. It is difficult to have opinions when the muck is so thick.

    Scaring them is a great tactic. To quote my 7th grade Ohio History teacher, ËœThose yellow bellied liberals” probably still won’t vote. He refered to liberals as yellow bellied…I didn’t know why then..

    I don’t think it matters. They are too busy making sure the government knows just exactly who has a gun and who doesn’t.

    The only reason I vote: I want the government to think that I don’t know about their ruse. I love the government…
    How I vote: Who is good looking and who is not.
    The last choice: Bush or Kerry. (goofball Texan or horse face scary thin guy???)

    not too difficult.

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